Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Flash

New Years Cards

A traditional part of the Japanese New Year is the sending of New Years cards to friends,relatives,coworkers and schoolmates.The cards(nengajo) are delivered on January 1st though they are available for sale from the middle of December.

As a matter of politeness should you have a death in the family during the year you dont send nengajo.Instead you send a simple card to people who then refrain from sending nenegajo out of respect for the deceased.

The cards usually have a design of the current Chinese astrological character and a simple greeting.This year is the Year of the Boar so cards have pig designs.Cards can be purchased at many places and there is software available to enable you to make your own style and messages.The Japan Post Office sells nengajo with a series of numbers on the bottom of each card.There is a prize draw in mid January and you can win a variety of gifts from televisions to stamps.
Writing the cards can be an onerous task.A few students I spoke to were sending over 200 cards.Some were using software to write the cards while others were handwriting them...

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